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The Biomimetic Office concept project is the outcome of our collaboration with Exploration Architecture. We have been developing an office building concept inspired by biological structures and natural systems… to give a step-change improvement over current designs.

Good design involves collaboration and integration of multiple performance metrics. For this project, key requirements were maximising natural daylight, maximising let-able floor plate area, structural performance, and large areas of photovoltaic panels over the building envelope. We developed state of the art genetic algorithms to drive the parametric model, which enabled us to simultaneously optimise the overall building form and configuration for multiple objectives.

Focussing on developing economic, rational and elegant schemes, we used biological structures as both inspiration and precedent. A key driver for our structural systems has been minimisation of embodied carbon, to improve sustainability of the project. Like nature, single components are used to serve multiple purposes – pushing every part of the building to the limit. For example, concrete office floors are sculpted to follow the flow of forces whilst internal voids in the slabs provide efficient cooling and thermal mass. Yet intelligent use of pre-casting and shape rationalisation helps to ensure that the advanced design is buildable with little cost premium.

A couple of short films about Biomimetic Office Buildings illustrate the concept more fully:

Designing with Nature: The Biomimetic Office Building from The Architecture Foundation

BETTR: The Biomimetic Office Building from  BETTR Schweiz

People:
Julia Ratcliffe
Fred Labbé
Pete Winslow

Architect: Exploration Architecture

Biomimicry consultant: Prof. Julian Vincent

Project size: 20,000m2

Status: Concept (2013)

Biomimetic Office